Dog of the Week: Oliver

BYOB reader Laura Grillo sent in this picture of her and her pug puppy, Oliver.

Oliver likes to greet the customers and Laura’s salon, usually with his toy beaver hanging out of his mouth.  He enjoys sleeping, going for walks and cuddling.

Thanks for the picture Laura and congratulations to Oliver for being this week’s BYOB Dog of the Week.

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Adoption: Puppies vs. Old Dogs

Everyone loves a new puppy.  Besides the fact that they’re cute and cuddly, puppies offer something older dogs can’t: a chance to watch them grow with the family.  But where’s the old dog love?

Back in April, Dogster’s for the love of the dog Blog put together a slide show of submitted photos from their readers.  The photos had only one criteria, “Dogster is seeking photos of readers’ old dogs, with little descriptions to go along with them. Your dog can be in Dog Heaven, as long as you submit a photo of him/her in older years.”

The slide show turned out great–it gives you that warm fuzzy feeling for your old friends.  Recently, many younger adoptive owners are considering senior dogs over puppies.

“From now on, I’m going to only adopt old dogs,” said Katelyn Rockwell, a student and animal shelter volunteer.  “I’m going to hold off on adopting a puppy until I have a family.”

Older dogs, like the three now available for adoption at the Baltimore Humane Society, usually have discounted adoption fees.  In addition to generally lower costs (including fees, short-lived toys, replacing destroyed items in your home, etc.) older dogs are usually pre-trained.  That gives owner and dog more time to lay around and get to know each other.

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Pit bulls and Baltimore: a unique story

Pit BullsBaltimore is known for many things.  It’s home of The Domino Sugar Company, the birthplace of the Star Spangled Banner, famous for Inner Harbor and where Babe Ruth began his baseball career.  But what many Baltimorians are not aware of is Charm City’s distinctly unique relationship with the pit bull breed.

“About 10-20% of the dogs that we have available for adoption at any given time are Pit Bulls or Pit Bull mixes,” said Deborah Land, Public Relations Coordinator for the Maryland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The MDSPCA is just one of the many shelters in the Baltimore area, and it is safe to assume this percentage can be applied to all adoption centers in the area.

“It usually isn’t difficult to find adopters for the pit bulls in our adoption program, but on average they probably take a few days longer to adopt than some of our other dogs,” said Land.  “The adoption process for pit bulls is more involved than for our other animals because we want to make sure people are well-informed about the breed and prepared to take good care of them.”

With the common misconception that pit bulls are overly aggressive and, as a direct result, are amongst the most un-favored dogs to adopt, Land explained MDSPCA takes the necessary precautions with the pit bulls at the shelter, as with any other dog that comes into their care.

“We behavior test all of our animals, including pit bulls, in an effort to prevent the placement of an aggressive animal in a home,” said Land.

Amongst the adoptive community, there are many individuals who are set on pit bulls when looking to adopt.  This could be the result of favoritism of the breed or genuine compassion for pit bulls and the negative stigma attached to them.

“Some people definitely come to the MDSPCA looking to adopt a pit bull,” said Land, but “Some cities and counties, such as Montgomery County, prohibit the adoption of pit bulls.”

Bill Neidhardt, the owner of two female pit bulls, hasn’t ever witnessed a “bad pit bull encounter.”

“My dogs are pretty docile,” said Neidhardt, “We’ve never had a problem with other people or other dogs.  I think pit bulls are a great breed for individuals or families; it all depends on how you train them.”

For more information on Pit Bull rescue and adoption, visit Pit Bull Rescue Central.

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BMORE Humane Night Hike

On Wednesday, I met with Amanda Serafini, the Adoptions & Shelter Volunteer Director at the Baltimore Humane Society in Reisterstown, Md and joined a volunteer group as they participated in the weekly Night Hikes on the BMORE Humane Society’s grounds.

Click the photo to view the slide-show

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Dog portraits by local Baltimore artist

Photo Courtesy of Unleashed

Looking for a unique way to pay tribute to your furry friend?

Gil Jawetz, a local Baltimore artist whose work has been celebrated in publications such as New York magazine, the Baltimore Sun and Urbanite magazine, offers dog owners a service that provides a one-of-a-kind portraits and paintings featuring their best friends.

“He does beautiful work,” says Brennan Kahl, owner of Peace. Love. Dog Walking, LLC.  “Aside from painting, he contributes a lot to animal shelters and other causes in the [Baltimore] area.”

According to his website, Jawetz has made donations of and from his work to BARCS (Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter), The Maryland SPCA, Paws 4 a Cause, Baltimore County Humane Society, Mid-Atlantic German Shepherd Rescue, Legacy Boxer Rescue and Barkin Arts NYC.

Want more information? Email or follow Jawetz on twitter.

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Doggie Dental Care

According to Pawsitive Times, a newsletter for dog owners distributed by Pawsitive Fit, LLC, veterinarians are seeing an increase of severe dental problems in the canine community.

“To prevent oral disease, the number one health problem diagnosed in pets, it is essential to provide our dogs with good dental care, both professionally and at home,” said in the newsletter.

Pawsitive Times also featured this how-to list to provide adequate dental care at home by “brushing your canine’s canines”:

  • Let your dog taste his or her toothpaste from your finger.
  • Using your finger, rub the toothpaste on your dogs front teeth and gums.
  • Apply some toothpaste to a dog-safe toothbrush (like this one from Nutri-Vet) and allow your dog to lick the bristles.
  • After your dog is comfortable with the toothpaste and brush, lift the upper lip and place the brush at a 45 degree angle to the gum line.  Brush back and forth in a gentle motion.
  • Slowly increase the number of teeth brushed each session.

The article stressed getting your dog comfortable enough with each step may take up to a weeks time.  Also, remember to praise and reward for a job well done.

For in between brushes or visits to the vet, there are a variety of dental chews and toys available to help maintain your dog’s dental health.

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AASPCA’s Walk for the Animals 2010

The SPCA of Anne Arundel County is hosting their 19th Annual Walk for the Animals at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis, this Sunday from 8:00am to noon.

All money raised will help the AASPCA care for the 4,000 homeless animals taken in each year.  Walkers are encouraged but not required to bring their dogs to the choice of a 1 mile, 2.5 mile or 5 mile course around the park.

The event will also feature giveaways, vendors and demonstrations.

Some rules apply:

  • All dogs must be current on vaccinations and at least 6 months old
  • Owners must clean up after their pet (bags will be provided)
  • Pets must be kept under control or owner will be asked to leave
  • Dogs must be kept on non-retractable leashes
  • Female dogs in heat prohibited

Pledge sheets are available at registration on the day of the event and donations are encouraged, but not mandatory.  Prizes will be awarded to individuals who raise a minimum of $30.  Grand prize winner will receive two round-trip domestic flight tickets from AirTran Airways.

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